Discussing the negative treatment of Tottenham’s Emmanuel Adebayor


The Premier League Owl

The Premier League Owl

Emmanuel Adebayor will always be a divisive figure, and a lot of that hostility seems to be rooted in assumption rather than reality.

The Evening Standard published an article this week – apologies, I forget the writer – essentially damning his recent performances for Tottenham and implying that they were a product of his apathy. Ironically, that in itself is a very lazy opinion to give.

A lot of the negativity towards Adebayor arose from his move to Manchester City from Arsenal, and that’s really when he was tagged with the mercenary label. From that moment on, he’s been cast as a footballing cartoon villain with insatiable money-lust and no semblance of loyalty.

Adebayor is a convenient projection of the dislike many fans harbour for the modern game.

Think about the stories which a printed in relation to him: the long-standing allegation that he retired from international football because for financial reasons – abandoned after the revelation that he was personally involved with the payment of the squad’s bonuses, or the ‘AWOL’ rumours that arose from his late return from the Africa Cup of Nations – clarified this morning in The Sun as a failure on the part of his national federation to provide adequate transport.

These tales perpetuate the myth around a player who we know very little about, yet whom we seem determined to cast to play a certain role in the game. They’re all classic Adebayor stories, featuring the usual list of assumptions about his character.

“Oh yeah, that sounds like Adebayor.”

Quite obviously, he’s not an innocent party in this and to a certain extent he’s helped create this situation for himself; his celebration in front of the Arsenal fans at the, then, City of Manchester Stadium, his laissez-faire body language during games, and his lack of obvious passion for the game. It’s true, he probably doesn’t love the game as much as the fans in the stands, but that’s true of a lot of players in the modern era.

There’s no intention here to convey Emmanuel Adebayor as a victim, because that would be excessive, but it is important to recognise the difference in our treatment of him in relation to that of other players.

Remember the reaction to him joining City? Well, where are the ‘mercenary’ accusations at Jack Rodwell, Scott Sinclair, Gareth Barry, and James Milner – regardless of what you believe their motivation to have been in joining Manchester City, their decision-making processes would all have been very similar to Adebayor’s. The Togalese was at least joining the club at a time when he would have rightly expected to be a fixture in the first-team, and that’s not true of everyone on that list.

The hatred for him seem to be borne as much out of convenience as anything else, and that seems rather unfair – at least in the sense that the collective dislike aimed at him is so comparatively acute.

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5 Comments on "Discussing the negative treatment of Tottenham’s Emmanuel Adebayor"

  1. Al – that’s just completely wrong. Ade is one of the hardest workers on the team

  2. Every club has its moronic supporters and THFC are no exception.
    Adebayor must know he carries a lot of baggage and so can only blame himself if people prejudge him. But doing so wont help him to play better as he seems to have such a fragile ego and really needs exceptional handling to obtain the best from him.
    I just can never see the point of booing your own players as often it is just confidence(like Siggy) that is missing. Think Bale for about 6 months and shut up.

  3. Good article! I agree that Adebayor hasn’t always HELPED himself, but I must say I have been EXTREMELY disappointed by the treatment he has/is receiving from those claiming to be Spurs SUPPORTERS.

    It’s true to say he hasn’t exactly set the world alight this season with his performances this season,but then again there HAVE been extenuating circumstances. Lack of pre-season, the departure of our most creative players, change of manager, change of system/tactics, injuries, red cards and,of course the ACONs tournament. Taking all of those things into consideration, is it any wonder he has struggled to find his feet this year?

    What Ade needs now is a period of stability, WITHOUT idiotic fans jumping on his case at the first sign of adversity.


    Some people will look for any opportunity to have a pop at the Togolese hitman, it’s just a shame that some of those same people claim to be Tottenham supporters. Ade played well against Lyon midweek and seems to be settling back into being the lone frontman. I have no doubt that he WILL find some of the same form that made him unplayable at times last season and force a large section of the Spurs faithful to eat a large portion of humble pie (much like AVB has)

    Don’t be one of them. Take the next few matches as an opportunity to practise what YOU preach and SUPPORT the team/ players as they continue to fight for a dream in which we
    all share.

  4. al granville | Feb 23, 2013 at 12:59 pm |

    The difference is that the other players you tag as mercenarys get out on the field and put some effort into their game,especially Milner. Adebayor strolls around wth a` large smile on his face, which to be fair is a rather pleasant smile, but not when there’s a game to be won. Then we want to see sleeves rolled up and determination.

  5. hes a great player and if the spurs fans turn on him they are being so stupid, they arent going to find a better striker willing to come to the lane, we dont even pay all his wages because we cant afford to pay the top top wages….

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